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2 rock climbing gyms hope to bridge the gap between Cleveland's East and West Side communities

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Posted at 10:49 AM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-06 15:10:02-05

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — It’s been a challenging year for fitness organizations and like everyone else, they’re looking for new and creative business ventures to stay viable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two rock climbing gyms here in Northeast Ohio are creating a partnership, hoping to strengthen the climbing community and help bridge the geographic gap between East and West.

“We want them to try out new restaurants, in between the east and west side. We want them to meet new people on the east and west side,” said Peter Stancato, founder of Nosotros Rock Climbing Gym.

Nosotros boasts two locations, one in Lakewood and another downtown. The two gyms are creating the Bridge Membership which will give climbers access to all three locations.

“All climbers want more climbing,” Annie Richman, owner of Shaker Rocks. “We have people coming from all over the region and this will allow them to climb closer to home. This will allow them to climb closer to home.”

Climbers can sign up for the membership at Shaker Rocks, and then will be able to access Nosotros Lakewood and Nosotros Downtown. The downtown location features 24/7 access completed with key fob entry for anytime access.

“It seems like as they (climbers) meet more people, they get stronger physically, emotionally, intellectually,” Stancato said “They make friends outside of the gym. They go climbing outside of the gym.”

All three locations feature bouldering, and climbers can enjoy auto billets, top roping, lead climbing and speed climbing at the Shaker Rocks location. Nosotros Downtown also features ceiling climbing and a weight room.

“Climbers are the most generous and encouraging people on the planet. They’re fantastic. And they always want to share their love of climbing with their friends,” Stancato said. “We want to introduce them to other climbers, to increase their skills and get them strong.

The combined membership is a unique feature in the climbing community. Stancato said they had to reach out to a pair of gyms in Colorado to get advice on the partnership, because there was no precedent for such a venture.

That outreach is what led to the Bridge Membership.

“If we can learn anything from last year, it’s about getting to know people, stepping outside of your comfort zone, including others in your life so you can learn more,” Stancato said.

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